U.S. natgas futures edge lower after three days of gains

Wed May 22, 2013 9:22am EDT
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* Front month remains under recent 21-month high
    * Weather forecasts warmer for the next two weeks
    * Coming Up: EIA natgas storage data on Thursday

    By Eileen Houlihan
    NEW YORK, May 22 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures edged
lower early on Wednesday, likely in some profit taking after the
front month contract rose nearly 7 percent in the past three
sessions to a three-week spot high.
    But with warm weather blanketing much of the nation and
expected to remain for at least the next two weeks, most traders
see limited downside.
    As of 9:09 a.m. EDT (1309 GMT), front-month June natural gas
futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange were at
$4.167 per million British thermal units, down 2.5 cents.
    The nearby contract hit a one-month low of $3.883 on May 9
after climbing to a 21-month high of $4.444 on May 1.
    The latest National Weather Service six to 10-day forecast
and the eight to 14-day outlook, both issued on Tuesday, called
for above-normal temperatures for about the eastern two-thirds
of the nation and below-normal readings only on the West coast.
    Early injection estimates for Thursday's gas storage report
from the U.S. Energy Information Administration range from 82
billion cubic feet to 106 bcf versus a 75-bcf build during the
same week last year and a five-year average rise for that week
of 90 bcf.